French Economic System Since 1981 Term Paper

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The Fordist system is dependent on the mutual interaction of a group of economic and social mechanisms. It is based on four elements firstly, of a particular consumption pattern, influenced by the increasing amounts of consumption of standardized manufactured objects which is liable to be produced in large series. Secondly, it is characterized by the allurement of Taylorism as the principal model of industrial work organization in maintaining with the consumption pattern. Thirdly, there is a Fordist social compromise. Fourthly, a Keynesian-interventionist State both in the economic and social field ensured the coherence of the system by means of a high and steady growth rate. (Which French Third Way? Administrative and Social Empowerment: Lessons from the Second Left in Power)

During the last three decades the system increasingly lost its consistency. Many elements of disturbance have been interacted weakening all the four elements. The weakening of Fordist coherence appropriately explains the double crisis of the Welfare State and Social Democracy. However, one could also mention the increasing significance of non-economic concerns like ecology, feminism and broadly the societal issues. As a challenge to the Fordist System crisis, left wing parties have to find out the terms of a new compromise between capitalism along with their philosophy of equity and solidarity. The reform policies carried out by the Second Left government under the leadership of Michel Rocard gives an idea about the French Third way that indicates less society empowerment than administrative empowerment. During the period 1997 to 2002 the Jospin Government represented a dismaying retreat to conventional French Left wing ideology. (Which French Third Way? Administrative and Social Empowerment: Lessons from the Second Left in Power)

Industrial policy may be indicated to be an attempt by government to shape the evolution of industrial structure. During the post war periods most of the governments obviously aimed at reducing inflation, curtailing trade deficits and ensuring fun employment that would entail an industrial policy. As a result throughout this period industrial policy has been considered a particularly efficacious component of general economic policy. However, irrespective of the French industrial policies have always been anticipated to have been general in perspective, they have sought different objectives and applied different tools in different periods. (Adams; Stoffa s, 13) the French policy in the South Pacific since 1981 has been practiced with a view to fostering economic development of the Pacific TOM. The French government has worked towards encouraging links with such territories and neighbors. The more advantageous aspects of the South Pacific policy of France during 1980s and 1990s apparently are in terms of trade, cooperation and aid. (French South Pacific Policy 1981-1996)

Irrespective of the repudiation of the dirigiste model and the growing obstacles of globalization and integration the state intervention in France has proven to be resilient. Since 1983 France has experienced considerably liberalizing reform. The dirigiste model has been dismantled the market unleashed and French competitiveness largely enhanced. The transformation towards market economy has not been accompanied by a shrinking of the state but instead by a redeployment of state energies to new arenas - labor markets, social protection and the promotion of Small and Medium sized Enterprises. The emergence of the French state since the 1983 U-turn maintains three important lessons. Firstly, the transformation of institutional paths necessitates a positive action along with a negative action - the forging of a new mode of economic and social regulation to replace the old one. Secondly, the state intervention can morph and migrate. Thirdly, the extent that globalization or European integration required institution reformation the national reaction may take the form of institutional redeployment as against institutional eradication. (the State after Statism: French economic and social policy in the age of globalization)


Adams, William James; Stoffa s, Christian. French Industrial Policy. The Brookings Institution. 1986. p. 13 Retrieved at on 18 June, 2005

Dirigisme. Retrieved at Accessed on 18 June, 2005

Economy of France. Retrieved at Accessed on 18 June, 2005

Levy, Jonah. D. The State after Statism: French economic and social policy in the age of globalization. Paper prepared for presentation to the Thirteenth International Conference of Europeanists. Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, March 14-16, 2002. Retrieved at Accessed on 18 June, 2005

McCallum, W.S. French South Pacific Policy 1981-1996. 1996. Retrieved at Accessed on 18 June, 2005

Which French Third Way? Administrative and Social Empowerment: Lessons from the Second Left in Power. Conference "Liberalism's Return: French Social Thought…

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